For a lot of people the holidays are a time for joy and excess. For others the holidays only emphasize what they don't have. As Edgewater's food pantry Care for Real spends most of its time focusing on providing people with basic needs: food, clothing, and help finding jobs, but each holiday season they also seek to give neighborhood children in need an extra treat with their annual toy drive. You can donate toys and other age appropriate gifts at locations in Edgewater and Andersonville or by shopping from this Amazon gift list.
Last year Care for Real distributed toys and gifts to more than 600 families. Note that's 600 families not 600 kids. You can see pictures of last year's toy distribution here.
In order to have another great distribution this year, Care for Real is asking for donations of new and unwrapped toys and gifts from now until December 13th.
Donations can be dropped off at Care for Real, 5341 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago at the rear door of the building. Toy drive donations can be dropped off between 9 AM and 3:45 PM on weekdays and 9 AM and 12:45 PM on Saturdays.
In addition to being able to drop off toys at Care for Real I am thrilled that the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce is also helping to promote and support the Care for Real toy drive this year. They have lined up several Andersonville locations that will be collecting toy drive donations. Starting this Saturday (November 23) toys can be dropped off at
- The Coffee Studio, 5628 N. Clark
- The Landmark of Andersonville, 5245 N. Clark
- Foursided Custom Framing Gallery, 5061 N. Clark
- Toys Et Cetera, 5311 N. Clark
If you purchase a toy at Toys Et Cetera and leave it for the Care for Real toy drive they will donate an additional toy of equal value.
In addition to the on-going toy drive drop off locations the Chamber of Commerce also has some special events planned to support Care for Real. Details about those are here. And as usual Andersonville has a variety of holiday events that make a great excuse to come to Clark Street and drop off a toy while you are there. Or just drop of a toy and reward yourself with some glogg from Simon's Tavern.
For those of you who can't drop off a toy in person but still want to support the toy drive I set up this Amazon Wish List that ships directly to Care for Real. The list is focused on gifts for teens and tweens since those age groups are usually underrepresented in donations.
If you are shopping online you can pretend you are in Andersonville with some homemade glogg.
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